Picture of Popsicle Stick Crossbow
A simple but powerful crossbow made out of Popsicle sticks with a range of almost 9 meters.

Caution: The bow should not be aimed or shot at any human or animal. Although the bow dose not hurt if you shoot it at your hand at point blank range, it will hurt if it hits someone in the eye!
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Step 1: Step 1: Getting the Materials

Picture of Step 1: Getting the Materials
1. Sand paper (low grain)
2. Popsicle sticks. You will need 30 Popsicle sticks. If you have access to them, using six tongue suppressors makes building the body a lot easier. Tongue depressors are available at most pharmacies.
3. Carpenters Glue
4. White Glue
5. 1 strong springy cloths peg
6. At least 1 C-clamp (I recommend 3) OR you have hold the pieces together with your hands for a long time (At least half an hour depending on the glue)
7. Ruler
8. Pencil
9. aprox. 6 hours

Step 2: Step 2: Making the Bow

Picture of Step 2: Making the Bow
1. Now glue the pop sickle sticks like in the picture.
(The glue points should be 2 cm wide)

2. Use the C-clamps to hold the joints together until the glue is dry.

3. Ok now that the glue has dried use WHITE glue to glue the 2 pieces together at the center.

4. Once the glue is dry, use whatever you decided is sharp enough to cut 4 small 'v' shaped notches 1.5 cm away from the edge on either end of the bow. The notches prevent the string from slipping.

5. Now you have to string the bow. Use a non-elastic string because the power comes from the force of the bent bow, not the string. Tie the string to the notch of one side of the Popsicle stick bow. Then, bend the bow and tie the string over the other side. The bow should arc about 5 cm away from the string.
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crossbow is sick man where did u get the string
yapoyo3 years ago
possible ammo
* straw
* pen tube
* pen ink cartridge
* skewer
* sticks
JCR_10 yapoyo3 months ago
It not dosen work
JCR_103 months ago
You can also make a bow too
Does 5 minute epoxy work?
how about gorilla wood glue
lucasgui5 years ago
Is possible to me to use Hot Glue instead of Carpenters Glue and White glue?
yapoyo lucasgui3 years ago
it works if you don't mind repairing it often, otherwise, use gorilla glue or carpenter's glue;.
yapoyo yapoyo3 years ago
* Uhh actually gorilla glue is useless, it only works as art medium
By the way, which kind of string did you use?
Darkknight512 (author)  lucasgui5 years ago
Hot glue might be a bit too weak, carpenters glue is really TOUGH.

For string I just used some white dollarstore string, twine should work just as well.
Yep, Hot glue is very weak , so i started to make some glue webs around my house with this :D

I'm almost done, i only need to buy some string and find a clothespin around my house, but i believe there are only the plastic ones here...
I've done my Cbow, but now i have a issue:
After some shots, i feel like the string gets weaker, and i don't believe neither the bow is bent nor the string is getting consumed little by little . Someone knows how to fix that, so i can fire at full power almost every time?
your string is stretching. cut it and buy new string.
As some responses to questions in this comment chain:

I made a few of these and have a few tips. As stated before don't use hot glue as continual use eventually pulls apart the bow section from the handle. For string I could not find any and ended up using yarn, and it works fine. I think any type of string would work as long as it's pretty resistant to the friction that happens from firing the bow. I noticed after many uses the yarn started rubbing away and thinning out in the middle where the string sits on the handle.

Another thing is the way the string is attached to the bow. I tried the notch thing noted in this Instructable and I found out that when I bend the bow arch the two "halves" of the bow ended up as different lengths. As a result I had to glue the string onto the bow.

Also, if your constructing a crossbow like this and you want the maximum amount of power do NOT do it exactly as written. I did this the first time and the straw I used kinda just plopped a bit. I noticed that the bow was not at the strongest arc so I made another one based on how far I could pull the bow without breaking the bow or the string. I managed to make one with two popsicle lengths and this one went pretty far.

To keep it in good condition try not to keep the bow drawn ALL the time. It'll help alot.

Also thinking of using the bow part of this crossbow and extending it to make something similar to a ballista and similar to the bola launcher in How To Train Your Dragon. Will post!
yapoyo3 years ago
Hot glue works for me, this is the best thing i have crafted
yapoyo yapoyo3 years ago
actually it breaks gorilla glue works well
rhelton4 years ago
what kind of string did you use for the bowstring?
Wehrmacht4 years ago
I think we can use paper binders instead of clothes pegs(in my situation,i have plastic pegs which aren't very tough...)
chaoshawk4 years ago
how do you make the bow bend without breaking
Darkknight512 (author)  chaoshawk4 years ago
Just use carpenters glue and give it a little time after drying to cure and you can just bend the bow. The part that can break easily would probably be the glue joints.
Bamboo skewer ammo how-to: 1) Get a raw bamboo pole 2) Grab a hatchet 3) Hack the bamboo pole along its length 4) Hack it again only a bit spaced apart from the other hack 5) Cut the resulting thin piece of bamboo off 6) Cut that into desired pieces It's like "How to hack a bamboo pole". Oh wait... right, the disclaimer: DISCLAIMER: I am not responsible for loss of limb/finger/vital organ/property/some other guy.
alex46465 years ago
hey, you could add a handle by cracking some pop sickle sticks in half and glue em together then cut that at an angle and glue it onto the bottom shaft part. i like how you use strings instead of lame rubber bands
Darkknight512 (author)  alex46465 years ago
I could do that but I got used to holding it the way it is. I wanted this to be a genuine crossbow, not some elastic powered launcher, when I was designing this I wanted the wood to bend.
ok, thats fine and elastic powered crossbows arent even crossbows they are either oversized slingshots or waste of wood
Does rubber cement work ( I'm not kidding) ?
NaesDraw5 years ago
Sorry for the delay, but here we go on those pics.

String bows!


Darkknight512 (author)  NaesDraw5 years ago
Looks great man, can you fire a bolt to go into your dart board over there?
I could, but I'd need to make a pointed bolt, I'm fresh out. The cat got to 'em. It's really a foam pin board. It does work well however, I have three layers on the bow arm.
my part thats to be strung keeps snaping when i try to bend it. what kind of glue sdid you use
I used carpenters wood glue. Be sure to clamp it for a bit longer to allow it to not only dry but cure.
hamby405 years ago
look those bolts gont work well use toothpicks or bamboo skewers instead
Capt. Kidd6 years ago
its sorta called a touge depressor.
 whats a touge?
tongue i meant
 haha okay.
XDleader5555 years ago
My crossbow

Darkknight512 (author) 5 years ago
I have added some new stuff to the "Making Bolt" part, I might be making a new crossbow soon with some improvements because I made this a number of years ago and noticed a few problems with it.
Darkknight512 (author) 5 years ago
I made a few addons for my Crossbow since I wrote this instructables, I added a peice of toothpick to the top of the clothes peg to act as an iron sight. I also added fin stablizers to the bolt now made of a skewer. It is just 2 peices of tape on the end. This makes the crossbow MUCH more accurate.
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